The PerformYard Blog

A practical look at building and implementing your perfect performance management process.

Creating Questions for an Upward Performance Appraisal

By John Courtney December 11, 2018

Upward feedback, a.k.a. asking employees to review managers, can help you create the kind of ..

How To Create a Feedback Culture

By John Courtney December 6, 2018

Every business leader wants the kind of company where each and every employee feels like they..

The History and Science of Performance Management

By John Courtney December 4, 2018

How often do you hear phrases like 'she's a natural athlete' or 'he's a gifted designer'?

How Regeneron Built Their Performance Management System

By John Courtney November 20, 2018

Have you ever looked up from your day to day and realized there's no rhyme or reason to your..

4 TED Talks on Performance Management

By John Courtney November 13, 2018

Everyone loves a good TED Talk.

Our 5 Big Predictions for Performance Management in 2019

By John Courtney October 30, 2018

It's that time of year again. HR events are in full swing, 'Best of' lists are hitting the..

360 Reviews: Self, Manager, Peer and Upward, which ones do you really need?

By John Courtney October 23, 2018

For most organizations, performance management isn't as linear as it seems.

4 Common Reasons Performance Management is "Broken"

By John Courtney October 18, 2018

Ask the HR critics and they'll tell you, the future of performance management has been hanging..

What are Cascading Goals? (And how to use them.)

By John Courtney October 16, 2018

The idea of using goals as the lifeline between a company's grandest vision and an individual..

How to Increase Completion Rates for Performance Reviews

By John Courtney October 11, 2018

Perhaps more than any other business function, HR performance is hard to measure. How do you..

How Does Amazon Do Performance Management?

By John Courtney October 2, 2018

Is Amazon a lone wolf in the tech world?

How often should we set new goals? How to choose the right goal cycle.

By John Courtney September 27, 2018

Goals are an elusive subject. Research on how to set them, track them, and of course achieve..

Make Your Employee Appraisals More Fair with 4 Simple Ideas

By John Courtney September 25, 2018

If you've been following the performance management space for any amount of time, you know how..

Does Your Performance Management Process have Purpose? These 9 Companies Do.

By John Courtney September 20, 2018

We've all heard the epic stories of game-changers like Jack Welch who seemingly pull off the..

7 Things an Effective Self-Review Form Should Accomplish

By John Courtney September 11, 2018

How would you rate your job performance at our company?

Encourage Employees to Recognize Each Other (without Forcing It)

By John Courtney September 6, 2018

Is this thing on? As leaders and HR managers, we've all felt the humiliation of being the only..

The Anatomy of an Effective Goal: What all those goal setting frameworks have in common.

By John Courtney August 29, 2018

We've all heard the mantras: "A goal without a plan is just a wish," "Goals are dreams with..

How to: Competency-Based Performance Management

By John Courtney August 23, 2018

Richard Nelson Bolles's book, What Color Is Your Parachute?, has sold over 10 million copies in..

How to use ratings the right way in employee performance reviews

By John Courtney August 16, 2018

What could cause an 80% drop in employee engagement at one of the world's most successful pharma..

How to Assess High-Potential: Look for these 6 Characteristics

By John Courtney August 9, 2018

Leading businesses need more than hard work and solid results right now. They also need a..

Open-Ended or Closed-Ended Questions in Performance Reviews?

By Ben Hastings July 31, 2018

In HR, business, and life, people search for answers when they should be looking at questions.


How To Give a Negative Performance Review - 6 Communication Principles and +21 Example Phrases

By John Courtney July 24, 2018

Feedback is about as powerful in business as it is in rock n’ roll.

And when managers do it..

What is a performance gap? (And how can you close it.)

By Jon Malpass July 18, 2018

The performance gap is one of the simplest but most overlooked business concepts out there. Miss..

How the Right System Can Identify Poor Performance

By John Courtney July 17, 2018

Did you know that managers spend about 17% of their time working with low performers? Yes, you..

3 Examples of Performance Management Processes (to inspire your next review cycle)

By John Courtney July 12, 2018

There is a large body of online content offering general tips and guidelines on performance..

What Is Continuous Feedback? (And do you really need it?)

By Ben Hastings July 3, 2018

If you’ve gone anywhere near the HR echo chamber, you’ve probably (perhaps even unconsciously)..

A Beginner's Guide to Performance Management Software

By John Courtney July 2, 2018

In business, performance is everything. If your employees are not performing at the highest..

Heuristics in Performance Management

By John Courtney June 26, 2018

Ever since the HR world woke up to the idea that the workplace is dependent on humans and not..

Tactical Performance vs. Adaptive Performance: Why You Need Both.

By Ben Hastings June 14, 2018

Carl Reichardt is one of those epic CEOs business authors love to write about.

In the late '80s,..

Balancing Structured Reviews and Unstructured Feedback

By John Courtney June 11, 2018

Sometimes it can feel like we’re forced to choose; between a tightly managed stack and rank..

Perfect Fit Performance Management

By John Courtney June 6, 2018

The Colorado Health Foundation is bringing health within reach for all Coloradans by engaging..

4 Crucial Times to NOT Give Feedback

By John Courtney June 6, 2018

We talk a lot about feedback here at PerformYard — how to use it, how to give it and how..

Establish Expectations, Not Just Goals

By John Courtney May 30, 2018

Is there a difference between goals and expectations?

Surely, there is, but it can be hard to..

Should you test your performance management process?

By Jon Malpass May 22, 2018

When your top HR VP publicly speaks out against your current performance management process, you..

Are Employee Trainings Worth It?

By Ben Hastings May 15, 2018

Employee training is a hot topic and with the size of the learning and development market at a..

Amazing Examples of Employee Recognition from HR Leaders

By John Courtney May 2, 2018

Employee rewards and recognition is a $45 billion dollar industry. And with companies like ..

How much is bad performance management costing you?

By John Courtney April 26, 2018

Are you managing your employees with the same level of care you afford your business balance..

Stop Chasing HR Trends, Do This Instead

By John Courtney April 17, 2018

Amy is an HR manager at a firm that isn’t tanking but isn’t exactly succeeding with flying..

How can performance reviews support diversity and inclusion?

By John Courtney April 12, 2018

Ask any HR expert and they'll tell you the performance review process has two main goals —..

The Pros and Cons of 360 reviews

By Jon Malpass April 5, 2018

There are times when a performance appraisal does just the right thing and times when it just..

Are you asking the right performance review questions?

By Ben Hastings April 3, 2018

At least half the pain of the performance review are all the questions that come with it. Most..

From KPIs to OKRs: Your Quickstart Guide to Performance Acronyms

By Ben Hastings March 27, 2018

When it comes to performance metrics, the business world loves a good acronym. KPI, KRI, KRA,..

Should Employees Score Their Managers? (Googlers Do)

By John Courtney March 22, 2018

The idea of upward feedback, or employees giving managers feedback, is on an upward trend. And..

5 Personalities in Every Team (and How to Coach Them)

By John Courtney March 14, 2018

If you’ve ever received career counseling, you’re no stranger to the many personality tests out..

Want Great Employees? Give them Great Jobs.

By John Courtney March 8, 2018

We've all met the star performer who resigned shortly after being promoted.

For most of us, we..

A Real-World Guide to Employee Recognition

By Ben Hastings March 6, 2018

No matter where you look, you'll find a conversation about employee recognition.

Pepsico CEO,..

Does HR do enough to train managers?

By John Courtney March 1, 2018

Picture this.

You just moved one of your best employees into a management role. As an employee..

11 Award-winning Company Cultures with a Style that's All Their Own

By John Courtney February 27, 2018

Company culture can be a tough thing to nail.

While it's always tempting to play..

9 Things Performance Reviews Should Accomplish

By Ben Hastings February 22, 2018

It's no secret that performance reviews get a bad rap.

Come November, they can hang like a black..

Employee motivation vs. employee determination: Is there a difference and does it matter?

By John Courtney February 14, 2018

“I’m motivated” versus “I’m determined”.

In a lot of conversations, you could probably say..

How to Use Performance Reviews to Spot Future Talent

By Ben Hastings February 9, 2018

I once attended a high-level conference of executives managing high growth enterprises and many..

4 Easy Ways to Get Your Performance Reviews Back on Track

By John Courtney February 6, 2018

Between staying on top of day-to-day tasks and good old-fashioned fear of confrontation, there..

How to Help Your Employees Feel Heard

By John Courtney February 1, 2018

There are millions of self-development books, articles and coaching programs with the aim of..

Why Do Great Employees Quit?

By John Courtney January 30, 2018

Are "personal reasons" ever really the whole reason?

Probably not. Despite the contents of their..

How HR Can Train Managers To Deliver Better Reviews

By John Courtney January 25, 2018

From pay increases to sales targets, some of our most crucial business decisions boil right down..

Are Your Employee Reviews Getting Done?

By John Courtney January 23, 2018

The HR world is changing fast. Tech is changing, talent is changing, and the future of work will..

The Most Important (and Overlooked!) Features to Consider When Selecting Performance Management Software?

By John Courtney January 16, 2018

Congrats! You've made the decision to uplevel your performance management strategy. Get ready..

13 Essential Ideas for Increasing Employee Engagement

By Ben Hastings January 11, 2018

From office slides to cryogenics, there's no shortage of wild ideas for increasing employee..

Give Effortless Feedback with PerformYard

By John Courtney January 2, 2018

At PerformYard our goal is to build a flexible performance management solution that is also..

Does Your Organization Learn?

By John Courtney December 21, 2017

The oven beeps, you open the door, reach in and grab the cookie sheet. A searing pain shoots up..

Should HR be part of the employee review process?

By John Courtney December 19, 2017

As an HR professional, you have a hand in a million different parts of the business.

On any..

Top 10 HR Blogs for Practical Advice in 2018

By John Courtney December 14, 2017

We love reading about Why Generation Z  Will Prefer to be Managed by Robots, and How Will We..

How to Have the End of Year Performance Conversation

By Ben Hastings December 12, 2017

Ah, the annual performance review. This time of year, it's the only thing more dreaded than..

The Right Way to Reduce Employee Turnover

By John Courtney December 6, 2017

Ever since needy Millennials joined the workforce and Silicon Valley giants started offering..

Can Managers Rate Employee Skills Effectively?

By Ben Hastings November 30, 2017

Most bosses think they know their employees better than anyone else.

After all, we spend 90,000..

11 Types of Employee One-on-ones (and 69 example questions)

By John Courtney November 28, 2017

The employee one-on-one is a classic example of something easy to do, but hard to do well.


How Does Asana Do Performance Management?

By John Courtney November 21, 2017

Asana, is a silicon-valley startup founded in 2008 by former Facebook developers, Justin..

What is Performance Management Software?

By John Courtney November 17, 2017

Performance management software allows companies to effectively track, analyze and evaluate..

Should You Choose Annual or Quarterly Performance Reviews?

By Ben Hastings November 15, 2017

We're experiencing a major shake-up in the world of performance appraisals.

Business behemoths..

Should Employees be More Engaged or More Productive?

By John Courtney November 9, 2017

Employee engagement is a BIG topic.

In fact, according to a recent report from Bersin &..

Do Employees Want Negative Feedback?

By John Courtney November 7, 2017

Yes, the answer is just yes.

The negative feedback divide

First, a quick clarification of terms...

T is for Time Constrained

By John Courtney October 24, 2017

In this series we explore the science behind the 5 elements of a SMART Goal (Specific,..

The 45 Second Performance Review

By John Courtney October 16, 2017

Ben, the CEO of PerformYard, completes a Deloitte-style performance review for one of his..

Deloitte's Radically Simple Review

By John Courtney October 13, 2017

Deloitte, an organization with over 263,000 employees, has one of the simplest performance..

How To: Create a Radically Simple Review Form

By John Courtney October 13, 2017

After writing about Deloitte’s radically simple reviews, the number one response we received was..

R is for Relevant

By John Courtney September 6, 2017

Remember Algebra homework? Or maybe your kid’s algebra homework?

When I think back to those..

A is for Achievable

By John Courtney August 7, 2017

In this series we explore the science behind the 5 elements of a SMART Goal (Specific,..

Are Your Goals Too Measurable?

By John Courtney June 9, 2017

In this series we explore the science behind the 5 elements of a SMART Goal (Specific,..

Should You Set Goals Like Google?

By John Courtney May 8, 2017

Google is the most audacious company in the world. Their new projects are often so..

The S in S.M.A.R.T. Goals

By John Courtney April 26, 2017

In this series we explore the science behind the 5 elements of a SMART Goal (Specific,..

In Defense of Performance Reviews

By John Courtney March 29, 2017

Everyone hates the employee review

The non-practical types love to talk about killing..

5 Tips That Make Employee Reviews Easy

By John Courtney March 21, 2017

You set up meetings with all your direct reports and head to a small conference room for the..

Radically Simple Performance Reviews

By John Courtney March 10, 2017

There is an endless cycle of debate over how to do employee performance reviews. Should you set..

First, Take Back Your Company's Time

By John Courtney February 24, 2017

At PerformYard we serve mid-size organizations (50-500) that are tired of their homegrown..

Deliver Criticism Employees Appreciate

By John Courtney January 24, 2017

Criticism is a fundamental and necessary part of growth. If we want to grow as an individual or..

HR In 2017: Love The Problem, Not The Solution

By John Courtney January 12, 2017

At the beginning of each new year we see a lot of articles appearing about the hot new trends in..

Accountability vs Growth: Choose a side (or don't)

By John Courtney December 13, 2016

There is a revolution happening in Performance Management. It is easy to see at corporate..

HR and the "Future of Work"

By John Courtney November 29, 2016

Google has a famous HR department, they call themselves People Operations or Pops for short. The..

Achieving Goals Through Accountability

By John Scott August 24, 2015
"Work really hard and you can achieve anything you put your mind to." If your childhood was..

Why You Should Avoid Anonymous Performance Feedback

By John Scott August 6, 2015

Anonymous performance feedback is a popular component of many an organization's performance..

Applying Psychology 101 to Performance Reviews

By Jon Malpass June 19, 2015

For many college students, the introduction to psychology course can be one of the most popular..

Empowering Managers to Be Accessible

By John Scott May 12, 2015

It is clear why open floor plans are so popular in offices today. They bring people together to..

How Preparing for Failure Drives High Performance

By John Scott April 28, 2015

The starting line for a marathon is a surprisingly great place to people watch. First, you see the..

The Carrot or the Stick: Incentivizing Performance Reviews

By John Scott April 16, 2015

You might have read about it in a book. Maybe you know somebody that knows somebody else that..

Fight Turnover By Selling Your Company to Your Employees

By John Scott February 19, 2015

The relationship you have with your employer is often compared with a marriage, and with good..

Why Collaboration Doesn't Always Work

By John Scott January 5, 2015

It's hard to remember a time when collaboration wasn't a widely-discussed and accepted concept...

Resources to Get Your Performance Reviews Back on Track

By John Scott December 17, 2014

Performance reviews can be a source of frustration for many in the business world. If you're a..

The Leadership Style That Drives Innovation

By John Scott December 10, 2014

Making the leap into management can be an exciting and challenging time. Switching roles from..

Get Comfortable With Giving Negative Feedback

By John Scott November 13, 2014

Long ago, I received an especially confusing piece of negative feedback:

“Remember three or four..

Don’t Work Harder, Work With a Better Plan

By John Scott November 5, 2014

Santa Clauses throughout the country are returning to their natural habitat in shopping malls,..

Spark Creative Performance by Testing Your Routine

By John Scott October 28, 2014

In today’s ultra-competitive business world, success is often driven by a culture of testing...

How to Create the Perfect Brainstorm

By John Scott October 23, 2014

Creative ideas are the catalysts of innovation. They drive company growth, improve processes,..

The Secrets to Productive Performance Check-ins

By John Scott October 13, 2014

Meetings get a bad rap, and the arguments against them are well known:

  •      They get in the way..

How Distractions Drive High Performance

By John Scott September 30, 2014

It sounds counterintuitive, but an office environment with the right mix of distractions is..

Is a Dress Code Needed for an Exceptional Performance?

By John Scott September 23, 2014

Golf is a game of stretch goals. While some of these are fairly common, such as scoring a..

Avoid the Echo-Chamber Trap by Building Diverse Teams

By John Scott September 15, 2014

It is election season and with it comes all of the dreaded debates and political ads that make..

When Setting Goals Goes Wrong

By John Scott September 10, 2014

Goals are all around us. The finish line in a race is the most obvious example, but you might..

Showing Appreciation to Boost Your Employee Retention

By John Scott September 3, 2014

Not too long ago, feeling appreciated at your job was the least of anyone’s worries.

As the economy..

Onboarding: Start Your Retention Strategy on Day One

By Jon Malpass July 15, 2014

The first day at a new job is stressful. The pressure to start off on the right foot and make a..

Strategic Planning: Be Ready for a Rollercoaster Ride

By Jon Malpass May 19, 2014

Amusement parks have something for everyone. When it comes to planning your trip to your..

“Everyone is above average!” or Why Your Performance Ratings Need Work

By Ben Hastings April 29, 2014

You may have noticed a trend in companies where, because of skews in performance ratings, most..

Not All Positive Feedback is Created Equal

By Jon Malpass April 22, 2014

The carrot or the stick. Teaching a behavior is often a combination of feedback that rewards..

It Takes a Village to Manage Talent

By Jon Malpass April 15, 2014

Managing talent in any organization is a large undertaking with many roles and inputs. In other..

Who Are the Best Performers - the Most Motivated or the Most Talented?

By Jon Malpass April 1, 2014

It isn’t always the most talented worker that does the best work. No where is that more evident..

Clear a Path to an Improved Performance Management Process

By Jon Malpass March 26, 2014

Even the best companies have problems with their processes. Unfortunately, identifying the..

It's Time to Recalibrate Your Performance Goals

By Jon Malpass March 13, 2014

Every year in the gym, it’s the same annual ritual. Empty machines in December, a packed house in..

Clear Your Workplace Performance Hurdles

By Ben Hastings March 10, 2014

Creating an environment that engages and motivates your employees to the highest level possible..

How to Celebrate Your Own Performance

By Jon Malpass March 3, 2014

In the business world, there are two extremes in terms of project outcomes – total success and..

Your Manager's Performance Feedback Is Flawed

By Jon Malpass February 27, 2014

When starting the performance review conversation at your company, how do you select the..

New Hire Performance Depends on the Fundamentals

By Jon Malpass February 19, 2014

When hiring a recent college graduate, many supervisors focus their onboarding efforts on..

Garbage Data Leads to Garbage Performance

By Ben Hastings January 29, 2014

“I don’t think it would be a good use of resources to spend much time researching the situation...

Internal Social Networks: Not Just for Millennials

By Ben Hastings January 17, 2014

Facebook. Twitter. Yammer. Google Hangouts. With the Millennial generation expected to represent ..

New Year's Resolutions for Better Performance

By Jon Malpass December 31, 2013

As we enter 2014, I thought it would be great to talk through some New Year’s resolutions for..

Tips for Improving your Weekly Status Reports (Part II)

By Jon Malpass December 10, 2013

Last week I started covering our tips for better status reports. While you can see that post here

Tips for Improving your Weekly Status Reports (Part I)

By Jon Malpass December 3, 2013

Some years ago, I was doing a weekly status report in one of my prior positions. It started out..

Yahoo, Microsoft and the Stack Rank Performance Review

By Jon Malpass November 26, 2013

Lots of ink was (figuratively) spilled in the digital media world a few weeks back talking about..

Do these songs sound like your last performance review?

By Jon Malpass November 25, 2013

While it seems like many people are moving away from annual reviews and toward an ongoing..

Get the Most From Your Weekly Status Report

By Jon Malpass November 13, 2013

[Note: this post was originally published on September 11, 2013.]

A few weeks ago, I asked a..

PerformYard Releases New Look and Feature Updates

By Jon Malpass November 13, 2013

[Note: this post was originally published on September 25, 2013.]

PerformYard customers were..

Manage your manager: Part I - Identify your manager type

By Ben Hastings November 13, 2013

[Note: this post was originally published on July 31, 2013.]

This is the first in a series of..

Employee Recognition Is Everyone’s Job

By Jon Malpass November 12, 2013

[Note: this post was originally published on July 16, 2013.]

I was recently reading a LinkedIn..

Employee Review Format - When is the Right Time?

By Jon Malpass November 12, 2013

[Note: this post was originally published on July 24, 2013.]

I was reading an interesting debate..

Performance is priceless

By Ben Hastings November 12, 2013

[Note: this post was originally published on July 10, 2013.]

PerformYard Launches

We're excited..